Esther Morris Leidolf, intersex advocate and founder of MRKH.org, performs an excerpt of The Missing Vagina Monologue. Recorded March 15, 2008 in Beverly, MA in association with GenderVision and BevCam.
January 15, 2013 Subject:
Response to previous negative review
In response to the reviewer's comments here, I want to tell you that Esther's story changed my life and may have saved my daughter's life. So I must disagree about the negative filter you place on your lens.
I watched Esther's video when our daughter was first becoming diagnosed with MRKH. Hearing her story helped me to understand how to look holistically at a person. I was able to shield my daughter from my male OB/GYN's insensitive remarks, and find an outstanding female pediatric OB/GYN at The University of Chicago Hospital who helped guide me toward a sensitive approach. I was able to get counseling before I spoke to my daughter. I realized that one of the biggest traumas an MRKH patient deals with is the way people respond to the diagnosis and the shock. I delivered the diagnosis to my beautiful angel in a way I never could have without seeing Esther's video and reading her story. I practiced and ran through rehearsals with therapists and our excellent U of C doctor before telling her the full story. Telling our angel this news in a sensitive and logical way was one of the most important things we could ever have done. I understood, after reading Esther's story, that these women are not "broken". They do not need to be "fixed" in order to be a woman. I owe Esther a huge debt of gratitude. Her selfless act of making this video saved our family from a mountain of agony. Love, peace and thanks to her and her family.
A great monologue for raising awareness concerning an unusual medical condition, but not so great in its narrow focus just to women in discussing how gender roles and expectations impact people who do not fit into the "box." If you have ever received "enlarge your penis" spam in your email, you might reflect upon how rigid social expectations equally afflict men. But it is ever the way of identity politicians to redefine UNIVERSAL HUMAN PROBLEMS into the oppression of their own group. All of her examples of insensitivity and misunderstanding within the medical community involve MALE gynecologists. One would think from listening to her that there are no women in the specialty, and we certainly don't get to find out from her monologue how female gynecologists react to the condition. When I heard her remark about how "advances in medicine have offered men Viagra, but women still get the knife," though, I stopped listening. So much tribalism, and so many victims...